Just ahead of graduation weekend, a sergeant at the United States Military Academy at West Point faces charges for filming female cadets without their knowledge. According to the NY Times, the filming took place "sometimes when they were in the shower... The Army is contacting a dozen women to alert them that their privacy may have been violated and to offer support or counseling as required, officials said."
Sgt. First Class Michael McClendon is described as a "tactical noncommissioned officer" who worked as a staff adviser to 125 cadets at West Point. The Military Times reports that he faces 35 specifications "four articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for indecent acts, dereliction in the performance of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, and actions prejudicial to good order and discipline."
McClendon is alleged to have been in possession of computer files for images of nude cadets, according to a charge sheet obtained by Army Times. The names of the alleged victims were redacted.
Between July 2009 and May 2012, McClendon allegedly made images and videos of a number of women’s exposed bodies, though it is unclear where and how each of the images were created. McClendon in at least some cases is alleged to have entered into a women’s bathroom without announcing himself to film women as they were coming and going from the shower.
McClendon joined the Army in 1990 and was deployed in Iraq twice (2004-2005, 2007-2009).
Recently, a Department of Defense report showed that sexual assaults in the military rose from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Despite pledges of zero tolerance from the military, and a number of positive steps that were taken last year by the Armed Services Committee, this report provides troubling evidence that we are going in the wrong direction."
About 15% of West Point's 4,500 cadets are female.